Go Back

Baked Chicken Meatballs Recipe


  • 3 slices Italian bread torn into small bits (1 cup)
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 3 ounces ounces sliced pancetta Canadian bacon or bacon
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 1 small garlic clove minced
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil divided
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste divided
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley


  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Soak bread in milk in a small bowl until softened, about four minutes.
  • Cook up the pancetta (or bacon), onion, and garlic in one tablespoon oil with 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper in a large skillet over medium heat until onion is softened. (This is the step that may lead neighbors to knock and your door and strike up a conversation in the hopes that you will invite them in for a bite of whatever it is you’re cooking).
  • Cool the mixture slightly.
  • Squeeze bread to remove excess milk. Lightly beat egg in a large bowl, then combine with chicken, 1 tablespoon tomato paste, pancetta mixture, bread, and parsley. Form 12 meatballs and arrange in another 4-sided sheet pan (Smitten used a 9×13 roasting dish).
  • Stir together remaining tablespoons of tomato paste and oil and brush over meatballs), then bake in upper third of oven until meatballs are just cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes